Saturday, May 21, 2011

Roberto Bolaño - The Savage Detectives

New Year's Eve, 1975: Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima, poets and leaders of a movement they call visceral realism, leave Mexico City in a borrowed white Impala. Their mission: to track down the poet Cesárea Tinajero, who disappeared into the Sonora desert - and obscurity - decades before. But the detectives are themselves hunted men, and their search for the past will end in violence, flight, and permanent exile. In this dazzling novel, Roberto Bolaño tells the story of two modern-day Quixotes on a twenty-year, multi-continent, tragicomic quest through a darkening universe.

Comment: This book was recommended to me, it wasn't a conscious choice.
I was led to believe something about it, and then...
But first things first.
The book is divided in three parts, and parts 1 and 3 are continuous, chronologically speaking. The bigger part is the second one, but, to my POV isn't the most important one.
Let's say things that matter happen in parts 1 - where we meet the top main characters - and part 3 - where the mystery is solved. But the reader only reads the mystery solving after all that happened after that, not while it occurs.
To symplify: we get to see the character's lives before we know why they started living like that.
Complicated? I thought so too.

The whole book is about the searching for one latin-american poet, a woman no one knows where she went, and we only see it in the third part. I thought it was a bit anti-climatic considering all the fuss about it.

The book has lots of characters and almost all of them have a POV, which made things even more confusing. I confess I ended up only paying real attention to one or two of them. Their lives are full of poetry, cultural decisions Yep, lots of sex with lots of people.

In the end I didn't really enjoyed it that much. Sure, the cultural refelxion one can extract from the novel is interesting, but it's so populated with so many characters and POV's, that it gets distracting. To bad, because it started really interesting. I was just disaponted about the whole mess of things, too many things I think are unecessary...but the writing is fluid and the author had a talent to write things in a beautiful way, which is no surprise as he was a poet himself too.

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